Former Blackburn hero Alan Shearer has expressed sympathy for manager Steve Kean while blaming owners Venky’s for the club’s malaise.
Shearer feels Kean has been left too open to criticism during a season in which Rovers slumped towards a relegation that was confirmed by defeat to Wigan on Monday.
Kean has been subjected to vitriolic fans’ abuse throughout the campaign but Shearer believes he has maintained his dignity as the club’s public face while Indian firm Venky’s have become more distant.
Shearer told talkSPORT: “I have to say, I feel sympathy for Steve Kean because he was thrown into the lions’ den really – you get on with it, you are the face, you are speaking about everything, whatever is right or wrong.
“There is only the owners you can blame really – they are the only guys you can look at.
“What disappoints me is that nobody really hears from them.
“We heard from them when they first went in – they were going to sign Ronaldinho and (David) Beckham and whoever.
“But no disrespect to the players they have brought in, but they are not Ronaldinho or Beckham.
“The manager has had to take all of the flak. He goes out there [India] once a month from what I can gather to give a briefing or be briefed on whatever has happened or is happening, and the club is in a mess now.”
Shearer was the star of Blackburn’s Premier League title success in 1995 after joining the club for a then British record £3.6m from Southampton.
The striker, who moved on to Newcastle in 1996, is sorry to see the Ewood Park club in such a state, facing the prospect of Championship football and continued supporter unrest.
When asked how he felt, he said: “A bit of sadness, a bit of anger – a bit of everything to be honest. It is an excellent football club.
“I had four great years there and they never ever professed to be one of the biggest clubs.
“It is still what the community loves – they still go there and they are never going to have huge crowds like the big clubs do.
“But what Blackburn did when I was there was come in, take on the big boys and beat them. It was an incredible achievement.
“I know they were relegated four or five years after we’d won the league, but they came up again two years after that.
“For me they are a Premier League outfit – they deserve to be in the Premier League.”